New York, 1 April 2023 (TDI): Baltic countries delivered a joint statement at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting on Ukraine.

The countries reiterated their support for Ukraine and committed not to be deterred or intimidated by Russia’s nuclear blackmail.

The statement was delivered by Rein Tammsaar Rein, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Estonia to the United Nations (UN). He spoke on behalf of Baltic states namely Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.

The Estonian Representative reminded the council about Russia’s commitment to P5  joint statement that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.

Russia reaffirmed its commitment to reduce the risk of nuclear war and ease tensions in a joint statement with China just last week.

However, just a few days back, Russia resorted to its belligerent character. It has taken off its mask and has been raising irresponsible nuclear rhetoric.

Russia has decided to proceed with an allegedly dangerous plan of deploying nuclear weapons to Belarus. Russia’s move against unprovoked and unjustified aggression in Ukraine signals its desperation.

The Estonian official called the threat of nuclear escalation intimidation to countries supporting Ukraine. Russia’s nuclear threat is a means to deter Ukraine from exercising its inherent right to self-defense.

The Baltic countries’ response to Russia’s action is clear and simple. Nuclear blackmail is fallacious and useless. The countries supporting Ukraine will not be deterred or intimidated by such threats.

Ukraine will continue to have international support for as long as it takes. The outpouring of Western support will go on until Russia fully withdraw its forces from Ukrainian territory within its internationally recognized borders.

Russia has once again flouted international laws with its unreliable and untrustworthy unilateral actions. In 1994, Ukraine denounced its nuclear arsenals in turn to assurances by Russia to respect the sovereignty and freedom of Ukraine.

Russia as well had committed to refrain from threats or use of threats against Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

However, Russia has not lived up to its commitment and had blatantly violated the Budapest Memorandum and the UN Charter by occupying Crimea in 2014.

Also read: Joint Nordic Statement on AU’s “Silencing the Guns” Initiative

The recent example of the suspension of the new START Treaty also exhibits Russia’s disregard for nuclear stability.

The international community urges Russia to regress from this decision and uphold its commitments and return to full compliance with the NEW START Treaty.

Moreover, Belarus has been supporting Russia’s war against Ukraine. The statement condemned the regime of  Lukashenko for losing its sovereignty and integrating into Russia’s military plans.

The statement urged Belarus to stop being an enabler of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Lukashenko’s regime should not be an accomplice to Russia’s illegal actions to threaten neighbors and destabilize Europe at large.

Baltic countries raised their support for the Belarusian democratic movement and civil society to continue striving for a free, independent, and democratic Belarus.

Civil organizations should prevent their country from becoming victims of Russia’s imperial aspirations. The statement as well condemned Russia’s future Presidency of the UN Security Council.

A country waging war against its neighbor and committing atrocious war crimes should not lead a body whose primary purpose is preserving international peace and security.

The Baltic countries called upon responsible member states of the Security Council to counter Russia’s attempt of turning an international diplomacy platform into a mockery and farcical platform of disinformation.